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Senior Commissioning Editor, HQ in London at HARPERCOLLINS

Date Posted: 2/9/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

HarperCollins is one of the UK's foremost, diverse and innovative multi-platform publishers. We publish a wide range of books, from cutting-edge contemporary fiction, to block-busting thrillers and from fantasy literature to children's literature and enduring classics. We also publish a great selection of non-fiction titles, including history, celebrity memoirs, biographies, popular science, dictionaries, maps, reference titles and education books, and our digital business is thriving. With nearly 200 years of history, we publish some of the world's foremost authors, from Nobel prize-winners to worldwide bestsellers. In addition, we also publish the works of Agatha Christie, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Our HQ division are looking for a Senior Commissioning Editor to join their growing and commercially successful team. The successful candidate will be acquiring their own list and publishing ongoing authors. They will have ownership of their own stable of authors, seeing them through from acquisition to publication for both physical and digital editions. This is a role with a great amount of potential for growth, and the Senior Commissioning Editor will have opportunities to play a part in establishing bestselling debuts and building author brands.


  • To commission, edit and publish titles successfully and profitably for the HQ list
  • To read and respond promptly to agent submissions.
  • Build and foster relationships with agents and authors, with a view to bringing in the best new talent and commissioning new titles for HQ.
  • Ownership of and main point of contact for own stable of authors seeing them through from acquisition to publication for both physical and digital editions.
  • Overseeing the smooth production process of proofs, supported by the Editor and Editorial Assistant.
  • Understanding and wider reading of UK commercial fiction market, ensuring strong market knowledge and market-focused publishing strategies.
  • Briefing jackets and liaising with designers, seeing covers through from start to finished proof.
  • Copywriting and checking sales/marketing material.
  • Ownership of metadata/AIs for individual authors supported by Editor and Editorial Assistant as required.
  • Writing cover/catalogue/ copy as required.
  • To raise and check contracts as required.
  • Liaising with in-house digital teams.
  • Ensure a strong awareness of what physical retailers are looking for.
  • Create content for customer presentations and other presentations where necessary.
  • Work closely with the in-house Publicity Manager.
  • Attend launches and festivals as required.

Key Skills/Experience

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Takes initiative
  • A problem solver
  • Quick-thinker
  • Creative
  • Quick reader
  • Extremely organised
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Interpersonal and diplomacy skills
  • Technically competent
  • Computer skills: Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Passionate about commercial fiction, energetic and enthusiastic
  • Enjoys a challenge
  • Dynamic team member
  • Excellent people management skills
  • Flexible - able to work evenings and weekends as required to attend launches/events

We're based in the News Building which we share with our News UK and Dow Jones colleagues in the newly-established London Bridge Quarter, opposite the famous Borough Market. Our new open-plan office has amazing views across London, and includes a variety of break-out areas to aid inspiration and a collaborative approach, a multi-media suite, and a fabulous canteen floor and book shop.

Please apply via the link below with your CV, cover letter and salary expectations. Early applications may be prioritised.

Please note: We consider all applicants based on their skills, experience and ability to do the job. We do not unfairly discriminate on the basis of convictions or other personal information. We do require candidates to undergo employment screening in accordance with the relevant local legislation. This will only happen at the point an offer of employment is made.

Overview of HarperCollins

Our mission at HarperCollins is to harness the power of great publishing and to amplify it through world class marketing, global strength, and relentless innovation. We are all working towards the same goal, and we do it guided by what matters most to us. The culture at HarperCollins is defined by our six values, which inform our everyday actions and the way we behave. From Finance to Editorial, our values shape the way we work.

PUTTING OUR AUTHORS AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING. Their success is our first concern.

WORKING TOGETHER. Sharing responsibility, helping colleagues, listening well, embracing difference, and enjoying what we do.

LEARNING & ADAPTING. Taking smart risks, learning from experience without blame and being both curious and willing to change.

LOOKING OUT AS WELL AS IN. Understanding the consumer, the marketplace and the competitive environment.

LEADING NOT FOLLOWING. Staying ahead, looking to the future, being bold and always aiming to be the best.

INTEGRITY IN ALL WE DO. Timely, open and honest communication, being fair, principled and respectful.


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